JFS:Dassera – the Round Up.

Raaga at The Singing Chef made some sundal to go with the memories of celebrating Navratri in Madras (now Chennai). 9 types of sundals for 9 nights! Now that is some Naivedyam. Along with the good, the somewhat not good memories surface.


We’d also get invited to people’s houses and everyone used to have the standard, “Oru Paattu Paadu Maa” (Please sing a song!). I was a moody child just as I am a moody adult. And I never did like singing at other people’s golus. … but try and see the world through the eyes of a 14 year old who has been learning music from the age of 4, who is interested in good music and not necessarily in raagas and azhuttam and all the associated stuff and you’ll know what I mean.


Rachna from Soul Food made Vrat Kadhi

Rachna-Vrat Kadhi

From my childhood days, I’ve spent these nine days fasting and feasting on yummy fasting food, hearing bhajans glorifying the mother goddess and waiting for my ‘kanjak’ on the 8th day. (In Punjab, on the 8th (ashtami) day, little gifts and a plate of halwa-poori, chole is given to little girls).


Renuka from Fusion writes how Navratri Golu is celebrated in Tamilnadu. She lists the 10 Devis and their temples,too.

In Tamilnadu the tenth day is known as AYUDHA POOJA .On this day people worship books,instruments,machineries,vehicles….On VIJAYADASAMI it is considered auspicious to start anything new.Here we can find lot of children joining schools,music classes and dance classes

Her second entry brings recipes for 8 types of sundals. Now that is a celebration!

Sundals are made using Black channa,White channa,Channa dhal,Moong dhal,Green peas,White peas,Motchai,Horse gram,Greeng gram,Groundnuts/Peanuts,Red lobia (Karamani),White lobia.


Siri at Siri’s Corner had a tri-color feast with Aloo Pulav, Palak Methi Paneer and Carrot Halwa. Check out the cream laced Palak Methi Paneer. Definitely my kind of girl! She also has a story.

But Rama needed 108 blue lotuses for the worship of the Divine Mother, while Rama had managed to procure only 107. He was on the verge of laying one of his eyes that was lotus-shaped and blue in color at the Goddess’s feet when Shakti, satisfied with the measure of his devotion, granted her blessings.



Musical from Musical’s Kitchen explains the rules of fasting in Punjab and makes some smashing Khatte Wale Aloo.

People enjoy goodies made out of swaang (literal meaning, pretend) da chawal (samo), singhare da atta (water chestnut flour)-relished as rotis, choora and halva, kuttu de atte di roti (rotis made out of kuttu flour) etc. Salt is replaced by kala loon/kala namak/sendha namak (black salt). The sabzis, daals and kadhis are made sans and onion, garlic and even tomatoes! People enjoy the laddoos/pinnis made out of jaggery and red amaranth seeds (boor, seel, rajgira).

Musy-Khatte wale aloo


Roopa at My chow Chow Bhath made some lip-smacking Bhoondi Ladoos. Now, if that doesn’t sound like festive season, I don’t know what would.

Roopa-Bhoondi Ladoo


Radha has lovely photos of the golu, thambulam and the Carrot Halwa and Black Kondakadalai. She explains the golu as

The Golu arrangement is a sheer exercise of creativity which reminds us of the age old folk lore and puranas. In modern context it gives an opportunity for people to mingle with one another and relish the refreshments served. The guests invited are offered betal leaves (thambulam) which is mutually reciprocated during the visits of friends and relatives. On an auspicious note, exchange of thambulam spells harmony and good will for hindu families.



Easy Crafts made some Jevarisi (Sabudana/Sago) Pudding. Check out her other posts for navratri, too.

Easy Crafts-Jevarisi Payasam


Sunita from Sunita’s world has a wonderful post on her childhood bijoydashmi memories. When a post starts as I quote below, you know what follows has to be good.

..the Durga puja season…the season of autumn( sorot kal, as we call it)…. when there is a slight nip in the air…when the sun shines down a bit lazily…when there are smiles all around…people moving to and and fro with that sense of urgency to reach the puja mondop and offer their prayers…to get a strategic place to stand before it gets over crowded.


Sharmi at Neivedyam made some Sago Pudding. Man, does that bring back memories.

Sharmi-Sago Pudding


Vegconcoctions has some really beautiful and creative Golu pics at her blog. A must-see.

Navrathri Golu


Rina at >Rina’s Recipes has some very sunny sundal



Remya over at Spices ‘n Flavors has Golu at her blog along with some gorgeous Sweet Appam”

Remya-Sweet Appam


Vineela at Vineela’s Cuisine has some beautiful Golu pics as her entry.


Daily Meals has very festive Boondi Ladoos up her sleeve.

Daily Meals-Boondi Ladoos


An excellent Dasara in Mysore post by Namratha at Finger Licking Food.


Srivalli at Cooking 4 all seasons has neivedya for Ayudh Pooja

Srivalli-Ayudh Pooja

and Vijaya Dashmi.

Srivalli-Vijaya Dashmi Feast


Rachna of Soul Food has some easy Peanut Ladoos, tailor made for the modern Indian pantry.

Rachna-Peanut Ladoo


Asha of Foodies Hope brings in a Tamilian Festive Feast to the gathering. Asha, How do you do it? The Mysore Palace and links toMysore Dassera celebrations make this a must-see post.



Kajal of Kajal’s Dreams has all you ever wanted to know about Navrathri/Dassera and garba and more.

Modern Garba is also heavily influenced by Raas a dance traditionally performed by men. It is performed on 9 nights, ‘Navratri’ to Goddess Ambica, where women dance gracefully in circles sometimes also using, ‘Bedu, Kanjari’ or just ‘Taali’ and ‘Chapti’. The word Garba is derived from the word Garba Deep meaning a lamp inside a perforated earthen pot. The light inside the perforated earthen pot symbolized the embryonic life.


Sandeepa, the one of the Bong Mom’s CookBook, the one who weaves stories with her words, the one who has disabled mouse selection on her blog – gives me a special post that has been coming a year. There are many parts of the post that would have been great previews, but lack of space and -ahem, some technical difficulties – led to me selecting this one.

..see Sondhi Pujo on Friday evening and wait for the 108 lamps to be lit albeit by electricity, wait for the Arati and seek blessings from those flames for myself, my daughter, my family, have Bhog on Styrofoam plates balanced on my knees, catch up with friends and overhear elderly Bengali ladies displaying their expensive saree and jewellery subtly.Amidst the crowds and the haze of the incense, I will look up to Durga’s face and see her still smiling kindly and I shall hope that smile gives my daughter belief in her own strength…

Sandeepa, special rule for you from next year. You need to send in the preview of your post as part of the entry. And that’s whats you get for the union wise crack. 😎

Talimpu has the most photogenic Andhra Pulihora. Don’t believe me? Just take a look!



Gulkand and Khoya come together for this delicious sounding treat from Mansi at Fun and Food.




I definitely know there were more entries around the blogospere for Dassera. But these are the only ones that I have emails for. If your entry is not included, please drop me a line! Diwali Entires next.


Jihva Special Edition 2007

Oh Yes. It is that time of the year again. The time when PPM hosts Jihva. It also means that Diwali is around the corner! Because Jihva becomes synonymous with diwali when it visits this blog.

It also means it is the time when I tinker around with the rules of the event, so much so that Indira just gave up, threw up her hands and called it ‘Special Edition’. “Go ahead,Vee. Do your worst, we have a whole year to repair what you do“. Since tinkering with the rules has become sort of a tradition with Jihva when it comes to this blog and since I already tweaked it a bit the last time, the pressure to match that this time around was enormous. Bit, in the end , I think I have out-done myself from last time.

You see, I decided to co-host Jihva with the ongoing Festive Series that The ‘Yum’ Blog has been hosting since Janmashtami. Lakshmi was kind enough to allow me to host the Dassera and Diwali editions of it. So this time instead of just Jihva Special Edition, we have

Jihva Special Editon : The Festive Series.

Yeah, Yeah. That’s quite a mouthful. You didn’t really expect anything less when you knew that I was going to host it this month, did you? If you did, well, now you know better. Alright, Alright, I will make it simple for you. I am going to call it JFS (Jihva-Festive Series). There, all happy? Good, ‘cos this is where the rules come in.

In keeping with the Festive Series rules, this month’s Jihva will allow for non-food related posts. In fact, I am opening up the field to include anything and everything that you as a blogger can think of about the Diwali and Dassera. Just dress it up according to rules below and you have a shoo in. In fact, this is a great way for non-food bloggers to join in on the Jihva ride.

There are two due dates. The last date for Navratri-Dassera Related entries is 24-Oct-2007 and the last date for the Diwali entries is 11-Nov-2007.

Indira, I can see you banging your head against the monitor. Don’t think I can’t. Stop it. Right now. Remember, another whole year before it comes back to me.


The Jihva Special Edition : Festive Series Rules.

1) The theme for the month is Navratri-Dassera/Diwali. Write a post about either or both. It can be food related, recipe, memories, thoughts, experiences, incident, anecdote, photo essay, essentially anything and everything that is related to Diwali/Navratri-Dassera.

2) Write a post related to the festivities, link back to this post and send to pastpresentme@yahoo.com the following info.

a. Your Blog Name
b. Your Name
c. Images related to your post (must be part of your post), if any
d. The URL to the post

Please include JFS:Dassera or JFS:Diwali in the mail’s subject line depending upon your post.

3) If you do not have a blog mail me your content and I will publish it here on PPM , as is.

4) You can send in single or multiple posts, as you wish.

5) Have fun during it all.

That’s it. Do your best and send it across and then join me for the round up.


Navratri/Dassera : The celebration of Goddess Durga in her many Manifestations. It is celebrated for Nine days and nights and ends with the tenth day of Dassera/Vijaydashmi. It is also an harvest festival in some parts of India with the new harvest of rice being celebrated. Harvest Festival, Slaying of Asura Mahishasura at the hands of Goddess Durga, King of Asuras Ravana’s defeat and death at the hands of Bhagwan Ram, celebration of the female goddess all of this culminate into a festival that is celebrated all over India.

Western India, particularly Gujarat, celebrates the nine nights with the traditional Garba Dance .

Northern India celebrates the Dassera with Ramlila-enactment of the Ramayan as written in Ramacharitmanas by Tulsidas., followed by the celebration of Bhagwan Ram’s victory and the downfall of the King of Asuras Ravan by burning his effigy.

Ramlila, literally “Rama’s play”, is a performance of the Ramayana epic in the form of a series of scenes that include song, narration, recital and dialogue. It is performed across the whole of northern India during the festival of Dussehra, held each year according to the ritual calendar around the month of October or November. The most representative Ramlilas are those of Ayodhya, Ramnagar and Benares, Vrindavan, Almora, Sattna and Madhubani. [From Here]

On the Eastern side, West Bengal, celebrates with nine days of Durga Puja

In eastern India, especially in Bengal, the Durga Puja is the principal festival during Navratri. It is celebrated with gaiety and devotion through public ceremonies of “Sarbojanin Puja” or community worship. Huge decorative temporary structures called “pandals” are constructed to house these grand prayer services, followed by mass feeding, and cultural functions. The earthen icons of Goddess Durga, accompanied by those of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikya, are taken out on the tenth day in a triumphal procession to the nearby river, where they are ceremonially immersed. Bengali ladies give an emotion-charged send-off to Durga amidst ululations and drumbeats. This marks the end of the goddess’ brief visit to the earth. As Durga leaves for Mount Kailash, the abode of her husband Shiva, it’s time for “Bijoya” or Vijayadashami, when people visit each other’s homes, hug each other and exchange sweets. [From here]

Here the slaying of Mahishasura by the all-ppwerful Goddess Durga is celebrated.

…is that of the Goddess Durga slaying the buffalo-demon, Mahishasura. According to popular mythology, the gods were compelled to grant Mahishasura indomitable powers for his unparalleled meditation. As expected, the omnipotent buffalo-demon Mahishasura raised hell at the gates of heaven, astounding the gods with his mammoth dominion. The infuriated gods then created Durga. It is believed that Durga was actualised by the combined effort of all deities. Durga possesses a weapon of each god and is said to be more powerful than all of them put together. [From here]

Diwali/Deepavali : The festival of lights, the celebration of the return of Bhagwan Ram from exile, the slaying of Asur Hiranakashyap at the hands of the Narsimha Avataar of Bhagwan Vishnu, the arrival of the Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi, take a pick. All of this and none of this are part of the celebrations of Diwali in India. But there is light, yes there is light and there is sound, with crackers booming.

Religious Significance of Diwali

All you want to know about Diwali


Jihva-Diwali 2006